South Korean Shinhan Bank, Telecom Giant KT Join Efforts for Blockchain Solution

South Korea’s giants Shinhan Bank and KT partnered to develop a blockchain platform to capitalize on digital vouchers, which will be introduced by the regional governments.

Shinhan Bank, South Korea’s second largest bank in terms of total assets, announced on Wednesday that it signed a deal with telecom company KT to jointly build a blockchain-based solution, according to The Korea Times. The new platform aims to benefit from the regional governments’ recently announced intentions to launch digital vouchers. The vouchers can replace cash in certain areas, and local governments stated earlier in 2018 that they would introduce digital vouchers to revive local economies across South Korea.

According to the agreement, KT should develop a blockchain platform and network system while Shinhan Bank is responsible for building the relevant financial solutions like payment and account systems to be integrated with the platform.

Jang Hyeon-ki, the head of Shinhan’s digital strategy unit, commented:

“Shinhan's strategic partnership with KT is a part of our efforts to introduce a convergence between finance and ICT. The blockchain technology will upgrade customers' financial activities to a new level.”

Seoul-based Shinhan is the first Korean bank to demonstrate awareness on the potential of the distributed ledger technology (DLT), another name for blockchain. The bank set up a research center focused on blockchain under its Digital Strategy Department. Shinhan is leveraging the technology to develop an integrated certification system related to financial operations like online wire transfers and Forex.

KT, Korea’s largest telecommunications company, has also shown interest in blockchain. Last month, we reported that the telecom had developed the world’s first blockchain-based commercial network.

Speaking about the partnership with Shinhan Bank, Kim Hak-joon, director of KT Platform Service, said:

“The partnership with Shinhan Bank will be an opportunity to expand the boundaries of KT's blockchain technology into the financial sector. KT will continue doing its best in contributing to the nation's blockchain industry.”

Shinhan Bank, the main subsidiary of Shinhan Financial Group, is the oldest bank in South Korea, founded in 1897 as Hanseong Bank. Last year, the bank started the development of its BTC wallet and vault system. In February of this year, Shinhan carried out blockchain tests in collaboration with Ripple Labs.